The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Bernard Whitmore

This is a really cool one. At sixty years old, with sixty thousand miles in his legs, Bernard finally ran Boston…

Name: Bernard Whitmore

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):  60

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5′ 10″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 142

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?  Boston Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. Through my 20’s I tried to qualify and got as low as a 2hr 52min PR (Cape Cod). Perhaps frustrated that I still hadn’t BQ’d I faded from racing for a few decades while I dealt with uncontrolled/undiagnosed epilepsy.

When the BM bombing happened I took I took it personally and vowed to get back in marathon shape. It took years, but thinking I might die before running BM I took a charity number and ran. And qualified for the next year.

Last year was my 4th, 42 minutes under BQ time. This year I’ll be 66 on the day of the Boston Marathon and I’m fighting my way back from 3 broken metatarsals. Stay tuned!

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 40 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 60,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1,500

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 6

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? Yes, IRONMAN TRIATHLON TRAINING PLAN

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Bicycling keeps me cross-trained

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Not really – not on the track any way. I just make sure all my longer runs are negative split.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Don’t lose weight training for it. Keep healthy and utilize recovery nutrition (Protein powders, BCAA’s etc).

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire –SMQ

Name: SMQ

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 29

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5.7

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 158

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Toronto Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. I had tried and failed a few times. I had no training program and was just trying to do it on my own, and on my own athletic (or lack of) ability. I missed a BQ 3 times by less than 2 minutes. I started doing intervals on a track and one day did 20 by 800m. Every time I didn’t do a 3 minute 800M, I added one. The plan was 16, and I had to do 20. I don’t even have a log of my mileage, but would say max 48-50 miles a week. I was patient and reserved and it all came together. I will never forget the moment I saw my wife and mom leaning over the barricade cheering me on in the last 400m. They, as always, we a nervous mess. I finally came through and made it count. I have run 4 Bostons since then, and that first ever BQ is my most favorite race ever. I am emotional even as I type this. Maybe I have one more in me. No, I do have another one.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 4 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 3000 miles / approx

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1000

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 4

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? No, I could never follow a program, it would take away from the flow. I realize that is not for everyone. Do you own thing and what feels good.

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? My cross training was seriously red wine. No joke.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Introducing 800’s was a serious game changer for me. I realized that there was “work” that had to be done… not just winging it.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest places if you look at it right.

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Dejan Petrovic

Name: Dejan Petrovic

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):  27

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6 feet

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 145.5

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Zagreb 2009

Tell us a little about the race. Flat as a pan in my hometown. Coming of from great winter and summer high altitude camp I smashed it with my first sub 3h. PR of 12mins.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 4y

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? ~1200

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 1 marathon, dozen or more halfs.

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? Just ordinary program. 1 long run on weekends, 2 hard runs (usually fartleks) during the week. Almost all my long runs were uphill.

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? Yes

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Maybe. Had knee injury year before so had to do lot of rehab during the winter.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, Fartleks

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? No such thing as junk miles.

 

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Robert

Name: Robert

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):  50

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5′ 11″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 150

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Marine Corps

Tell us a little about the race. Reasonably good conditions. Mid-40’s to mid-50’s, sunny, single digit wind.

This was also my first marathon, so plenty of rookie mistakes. Went out too fast and did not hydrate enough. OK race through about 16 miles, then the wheels started coming off. Hit the wall at 21 and had to run/walk the final five miles. Very painful. I didn’t even know the BQ standard for M50-54 at the time (3:30). I read some article about the race and qualifying for Boston and decided to check the standards. My time was about six or seven minutes under so I decided to grab the opportunity presented.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Overall 34 years, with a 22-year break in the middle.

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? less than 10,000 miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1715

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 7

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? No, Generally five running workouts a week. One long run on the weekend in the 14-18 range with two 20+ runs in the six weeks before the marathon. Used a number of 5K’s for speed work along with some tempo work. Based on the layout of the Marine Corps marathon route I worked on long hills about once a week.

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Some strength training with light weights. Should have done more.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes. As noted above, the 5K races helped. I also used those to plug into a couple of the race predictor calculators to establish a rough goal pace. Used a few tempo runs to test that out.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Don’t repeat most of what I did! There are good training programs out there. Use them as a foundation. You can adapt them to fit you and your schedule, but they ground you in good, professional advice. Listen to your body. Better to take a day off than risk injury. Strength training/cross training is a key for most runners, if only to help avoid injury. Very likely they make you faster as well. Speed work is essential and needs to be offset by slower long runs. Join a running group or team, even if it’s just for the weekly or occasional long run.

If you are on the borderline for qualifying consider two things. A flat qualifying course and Nike Vaporflys. I think they are a big reason why Boston altered the standards last year. Finally, enjoy the journey and if you get the BQ, take it. The Boston experience is unique. It can be intimidating. Everyone is fast, the course is challenging and the conditions can be harsh but it will still rank high, if not at the top, of your marathon experiences.

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Riley VanPelt

Name: Riley VanPelt

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 22

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5 ft 11 inches

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 140

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Detroit Marathon 2019

Tell us a little about the race. This was one of the wildest races of my life. Training had gone fairly well, but I didn’t know what to expect with my 2nd marathon. I went out around 6 min pace with my buddy and stayed around there together at mile 13. Unfortunately at mile 13, I had to stop at a portapotty for about a minute. I initially thought my race was over after that, but my buddy told me catch him. So I got back on the grind and slowly worked back up to him with 5:50s-5:35 miles until Mile 21. I ran with him until mile 21 and surged ahead….. and 30 seconds later I started vomiting Gatorade. He passed me again but I didn’t ever stop and still maintained pace. I kept a steady distance behind and tried to come back again. In the last mile, I had to really push to not let my legs die out on me. I vomited again in the last mile but ended up surviving to the finish. 2:36:08 for 8th place overall, a 30 min PR, and a 1:19:53-1:16:08 negative split.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? I have been running since the age of 11, but I’ve been running consistently year-round since I was 17.

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? Yikes, maybe 12,000-13,000 but a guess. I was logging until age 19.

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 1 other marathon that I didn’t train for in 3:10

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? No plan for me. His philosophy revolves around a long run every week reaching 20, threshold workouts, easy runs, marathon paced workouts, and some VO2 max. I started at 50 miles a week and worked up to doing 70 for 6 weeks in a row. Roughly 21-22 week training block.

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? Yes

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Nope, I only run lol. If I tried to swim, I would drown after 2 minutes lol. I’d like to get into biking/aqua jogging though.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, during the cycle I did VO2 Max 1000m or 1200m repeats every 2 weeks.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? The keys to hitting a BQ was consistency, using easy runs to allow for recovery, and increasing mileage safely. Best of luck!

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Jason

Name: Jason

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 46

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6’3″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 185

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Bayshore

Tell us a little about the race. It was my first marathon and wasn’t aiming for a BQ.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 3 years.

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 5000 miles.

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1500

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 2 races.

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? No, Speedwork Tues, Tempo or hills Thurs, Long Run Sun, swim and weights Mon, Wed, Fri.

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes. Swim and weights Mon, Wed, Fri.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, hills and intervals.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Looking back, I don’t know how I qualified on such low mileage. Today at 54 years of age, I run 70-90 miles a week and am much faster. Run a lot of miles, most easy, 15%-20% hard, and a BQ should be attainable for anyone. Again, run a lot of miles easy, all year….

 

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Trevar H

Name: Trevar H.

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 30

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5′ 10″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 140 (I think)

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? CIM

Tell us a little about the race. Pretty ideal conditions. It was a bit humid and CIM was a bit hillier then expected, but the impact was minimal and I was able to run a 2:45:52. This time put me smack dab in the middle of the Women’s OTQ pack which was massive at CIM. I fed off the energy of this group.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 2 years nearly to the day

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 4300

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2700

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 10

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? No, Quality consistent long runs, speed work faster then MP, hills, and high mileage.

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? Yes

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Nope.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, the speed made MP feel easier and enabled the legs to turnover.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Consistency is key, listen to your body, and don’t neglect the little things like sleep, nutrition, strength training, etc.Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art